Today is an unusual day for Wacky Wednesday. I say this because the words and holidays are unusual. Our first word is Gabelle. A noun referring to an unpopular tax on salt in France. It began in the mid-14th century lasting until 1790 in the midst of the French Revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte reinstated this tax in 1806. It was terminated then reinstated again and finally abolished in 1945. Salt was used for cooking, preserving food, making cheese, and raising livestock making the salt tax the most hated tax in France.
Our next word is Halfpace. This noun has a few meanings. It can be another name for footpace. It can be a small stage on which something stands; like a throne or an altar. It can also be a landing at the top of a flight of stairs before the stairs turn and ascend in the opposite direction. With the stairs definition, one can think of it as a floor between floors.
For our holidays this week, we only have one that’s related to food. Today is National Julienne Fries Day. Julienne Fries are sometimes called shoestring fries and they refer to a specific type of cut for the skinny sliced potatoes. The look like matchsticks. This was also a method for cutting different vegetables for soups. Today is also National Vinyl Record Day, National Middle Child Day, and Congressional Startup Day (changes annually). Startup Day celebrates small business startups and helps entrepreneurs connect with their lawmakers. So, are you a middle child? Do you still have vinyl records? Today is the day to buy more.
Today is an exciting day for bibliophiles. National Book Lover’s Day is an unofficial holiday for those of us who love reading and collecting books. I didn’t realize for many years most of the books I owned were nonfiction. This wasn’t a conscious choice. Those were the only books I wanted to read at the time. I started reading more fiction and even gave myself a purpose to read more fiction. I gave myself a goal for the kind of fiction I wanted to read. I wanted to read the kind of fiction I wanted to write.
It began as a list of horror fiction with a supernatural focus. As I read and researched, I realized I wanted the supernatural more than the horror. There are many stories and novels that are supernatural but are not horrific. Likewise, there are many stories and novels that are horrific but have not supernatural elements. I began looking for both supernatural horror and magical realism in stories and novels. This has made for an interesting collection of books I’ve acquired. There are many stories that are not scary in the least but still involve supernatural creatures or beings. Some stories are even humorous in their absurdity.
I plan to share this list of books I’ve read on my journey one day. For now, tell me what you all are reading right now. What kind of books are you most interested in reading and collecting? I also want to leave you with a couple quotes that you may find interesting. One of them has some profanity, but I’m against censorship so consider yourself warned.
“It wasn’t until I started reading and found books, they wouldn’t let us read in school, that I discovered you could be insane and happy and have a good life without being like everybody else.”John Waters
“We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.”John Waters
It’s the first Wacky Wednesday for August and I feel this is the wackiest set of holidays so far. And our wacky words are not the kind used in everyday speech. Our first world Erinaceous is an adjective. It refers to the genius of a species of animals, specifically the hedgehog. They come from the family Erinaceidae and there are four main species of Erinaceous. Our next word is a noun. Firman refers to a Near Eastern sovereign’s edict; a grant or permit. The term dates back to the 17th Century but its origins come from Persian and Sanskrit.
As I said the holidays are extra wacky today. We have our token food celebration with National Oyster Day. We also have National Underwear Day and National Work Like a Dog Day. National Underwear Day began in 2003 and was started by the company Freshpair. National Work Like a Dog Day honors people who put in the extra work. The day was inspired by the strong work ethic of canines, especially service dogs. I think I’d prefer to celebrate service dogs today. I don’t think they get enough praise in the public eye. Now go buy some new underwear. You know you want to.